Are you looking for a magic bullet to overcome lust—one sure-fire approach that will get you past this sin?
Unfortunately, life does not work that way for those ensnared by any life-dominating sin—certainly not lust. Instead, it will require concentrated, determined effort on your part. Because it is hard, God has given us many tools or “weapons of our warfare” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) to help us—He has equipped us extravagantly for this battle.
God has…equipped us extravagantly for this battle.
I urge you to understand and diligently apply every effective weapon provided to us for that purpose. To that end I am making available an excerpt from my book Overcoming Lust that describes fourteen different means that God has provided for us as we struggle to overcome the sin of lust.
As you look over this list and visualize yourself doing all these things, you may ask, “This is too much. What if I merely install an internet filter on my computer or join a recovery group—shouldn’t that do it?” Unfortunately, life is not that simple—overcoming lust is not that simple.
Here is an example: The book, Every Man’s Battle, introduced me to the biblically correct understanding that sexual purity was possible and expected of me as a Christian. The book also includes the advice that one should “bounce his eyes” when confronted with pornography or other visual temptation. I describe the same practice as “recoiling” from any temptation—whether it is a wrongful desire or thought—before it can gain entrance into my heart. It is what the apostle Paul described as “fleeing temptation” (1 Corinthians 6:18) and it is one of the fourteen methods in the book excerpt.
Unfortunately, some foolishly assume that this one method is the whole enchilada. They try bouncing their eyes without fully heeding all that God has to say about overcoming sin. For example, I read of one sad, unsuccessful battler who got to the point that he could not look a woman in the face without turning away. No wonder that after trying this one thing, many give up and say that the goal of overcoming lust is impossible. It is somewhat like a person intending to lose weight by only giving up donuts. If only life was that simple!
Here is another example: Memorizing scripture is a fabulous way to fill our hearts and minds with truth and power (Psalm 119:11). However, even if you were to memorize the entire Bible and commit to meditating on it day and night, it still would not be enough by itself to gain victory over lust. If it was, God’s Word would not teach us about all the other steps we need to take.
God’s intention is for continuous transformation in your life. If you continue in sin you will become a slave to sin. As a slave to sin, you cannot please God (Romans 8:8)—transformation stops. Jesus came to set us free. To accomplish this, He took on the form of a man, suffered and died for our sins. Since He did so much to set us free, shouldn’t we be willing to step out and do all that His Word teaches us to do in order to live godly lives?
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